An Attribute (also called a statistic, characteristic or ability) is an abstract number (or, in some cases, a set of dice) which represents a single aspect of a fictional character in a role-playing game. Most RPGs use attributes to describe characters' physical and mental characteristics, for example their strength or wisdom. Usually a higher number is better, but not always. They often influence the chance to succeed in skill or other tests by addition to a die roll or by determining the number of dice to be thrown.
In contrast to skills, which represent a character’s expertise in learned capabilities like horse riding or hacking, or powers, which represent a character's unique or special abilities such as flight, attributes describe to what extent a character possesses natural, in-born characteristics common to all characters. As a result, ability scores are usually determined during character creation, and in many games they are fixed for the duration of the game. However, in some games they can be increased by spending experience points gained during the game, or as part of the process of levelling up. There are generally two ways of determining attributes, either randomly (by rolling dice) or by point distribution (see character point).
Common attribute names Edit
A measure of how physically strong a character is. Strength often controls the maximum amount you can carry, melee attack and/or damage, and sometimes hit points. Armor and weapons might also have a Strength requirement. Strength affects your damage with all weapons except daggers, increases your armour, maximum stamina and your stamina regeneration rate.
A measure of how resilient a character is. Constitution often influences hit points, resistances for special types of damage (poisons, illness, heat etc.) and fatigue. Many games combine Constitution and Strength. Constitution affects your maximum health and stamina pools, your health and stamina regeneration rate.
A measure of how agile a character is. Dexterity controls attack and movement speed and accuracy, as well as the difficulty of an opponent's attack (see Armor Class). Dexterity affects your damage with daggers and ranged weapons, your chance to evade attacks, your maximum stamina pool, and your stamina regeneration rate.
A measure of a character's problem-solving ability. Intelligence often controls a character's ability to comprehend foreign languages and their skill in magic. In some games, it controls the rate at which experience points are earned, or the amount needed to "level up". Intelligence affects your maximum mana pool, your protection against Fire, Electrical and Cold damage, your mana regeneration rate, and spell damage for mages - Demonologists, Heralds of Xotli and Necromancers.
A measure of a character's common sense and/or spirituality and/or ability to perceive surroundings. Wisdom often controls a character's ability to cast certain spells, communicate to mystical entities, or hear something in the distance. Wisdom affects your maximum mana pool, your protection versus Holy and Unholy damage, your mana regeneration rate, and spell damage for priests - Bear Shamans, Tempests of Set and Priests of Mitra.
A measure of a character's openness of their surroundings. Perception controls the chance to detect vital clues, traps, or hiding enemies, and might influence combat sequence, or the accuracy of ranged attacks. Perception-type attributes are more common in more modern games. Sometimes combined with wisdom. Perception skill increases your chance to detect hidden enemies.
Additional Links Edit
- See Also: FAQ/Abilities and Skills